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The Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) alleged that the Government had spent over Rs. 30 million on a farmers’ summit held in Colombo which would have been sufficient to reconstruct and renovate 225 tanks, if Rs 500,000 was allocated for each one.

JVP North Western Provincial Councillor and the National Organizer of the All Ceylon Peasants Federation, Namal Karunaratne said so referring to a summit held on April 6 organised by the Ministry of Irrigation and Water Resources Management
Previously, the Ministry of Agriculture organized a similar exhibition and meeting for which Rs 8 million was spent, he added.

The Government is selling the good name of the farmer, he noted, adding that farces of this type should be immediately halted.

Karunaratne also gave a breakdown of the expenses. Accordingly, Rs 7.5 million was spent on transport while Rs 8 million spent on electricity, sounds, and for backdrops for the stage.

Rs 4 million was spent on almanacs and commemorative edition publications while Rs 1 million was spent on additional stationery. “Rs 4.8 million was spent on water bottles. There were several food menus for the attending farmers for which Rs 6 million was spent,” he said.

“How much of this would have been pocketed by those involved, can only be guessed at. This is a colossal waste. The farmer is in debt. The seeds and equipment he uses has gone up in price. His pension and allowances are being reduced,” he observed.